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San Francisco graffiti ‘kingpin’ suspect charged with felony vandalism

On a Langton Street wall south of Folsom Street in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood, a gray-spray painted graffiti tag mars a bald eagle's plumage in a neighborhood mural.
On a Langton Street wall south of Folsom Street in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, a gray-spray painted graffiti tag mars a bald eagle’s plumage in a neighborhood mural. | Source: George Kelly/The Standard

A suspected prolific San Francisco graffiti tagger has been charged with felony vandalism for allegedly spraying "Goer" on a San Francisco business, prosecutors announced Thursday.

Brian Wabl, 41, pleaded not guilty to a single count of felony vandalism on Wednesday, according to the San Francisco District Attorney's Office.

Wabl tagged the word "Goer" Sunday morning on a business in the 1100 block of Howard Street in SoMa, prosecutors allege.

San Francisco police arrested Wabl, and he remains in custody on $25,000 bail, authorities said.

READ MORE: San Francisco Graffiti ‘Kingpin’ Suspect Arrested as Thousands of Tags Sweep City

Outside a popular wine bar on Folsom Street in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood, a small yellow markered graffiti tag mars a doorway.
Outside a popular wine bar on Folsom Street in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood, a small yellow markered graffiti tag mars a doorway. | Source: George Kelly/The Standard

If he is released, a judge will likely order him to not possess "vandalism tools," such as spray paint, and stay away from the vandalized business on Howard Street, prosecutors said Friday.

“Taggers and others who randomly vandalize other people's property must be held accountable for their impact on residents and businesses throughout the city,” District Attorney Brooke Jenkins wrote in a statement.

According to the SoMa West Community Benefit District, which cleans graffiti in the neighborhood, 9,759 tags were removed in the 12 months since July 2022, which is a 26-per-day average.

Adam Mesnick, owner of the SoMa restaurant Deli Board, posted a video to X/Twitter Sunday documenting the arrest. 

Mesnick, who sits on the SoMa West Community Benefit District board, slammed graffiti as the neighborhoood's second-most troubling scourge after trash.

“The assumption is that it's multiple people doing the tag, but hopefully, they got the guy who's the kingpin,” Mesnick said. “It is the most frequent sign, prominent, prolific. For years, we've been cleaning up after this guy, years upon years.”

Wabl's next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 31, according to prosecutors.